NCAA Tournament – Iowa State Motion

By Andrew Lacey

2 Out 3 In Motion Offense

Today’s basketball offense breakdown comes from the 2 Out 3 In Motion Offense. Iowa State used the concepts once used by Steve Alford when he was at New Mexico. The 2 Out 3 In motion offense is very unique, which allows the post area to become open for isolation plays and opens up dribble penetration and backdoor cut plays. Iowa State made this key adjustment in the first half against Nevada when they struggled to get much out of their ball screen sets. In this two part series, I will first discuss the rules/concepts for implementing the offense and in the second part we will discuss drills to teach the offense.

Basic Concepts

  1. In this offense you will have the ability to isolate your best scorer in the triangle (Screener) and/or be a cutter (baseline runner)
  2. Makes your opponents post players defend screens and cuts
  3. Put a play maker in the triangle.
    • Gives PG angels to create plays and
    • Great for PG (small/big) that can post
  4. Puts the ball in the hands of feeders.  Traditionally your guards should be your best passers, so with that theory in mind the ball is in their hands a lot
  5. Uses lots of Big/Little screens.  Most defensive concepts do not allow Big/Littles to switch on screens.  The options can really create mismatches when used effectively
  6. This offense creates a lot of 3 on 3 actions and reads
    • Puts opponents’ worst defender in triangle and/or
    • Put opponents’ best offensive scorer in triangle
  7. Creates simple reads (passing, cutting, screening)
    • Breakdown of 5 man motion
    • Quick easy scoring opportunities
    • Players are interchangeable
  8. Creates the spacing needed for an effective offense.
    • Freedom to create off the bounce, off screening or cutting
  9. In regular offense,
    • Read and React
    • Never bypass an open man, pass it to him
    • If screener does a good job, he should be open and he should get the ball

Basic Alignment


2 Out

  • Cannot cut below the 3-point arc, back cut and out
  • Ball in correct position
  • Get open, don’t stand
  • Drive and Kick

3 In

  • Movement with Reads
  • Screen and React
  • Read the perimeter and how they are guarded
  • Cannot get in the triangle unless you are back screened in.  Encourage interchange when personnel allows

Sample Action

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Post Actions

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Runner/Scorer Actions

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Andrew Lacey

Head Coach at Richard Bland College of William and Mary
Successful head coach at Richard Bland College of William & Mary in Virginia. Coach Lacey has a proven track record running all aspects of a program. Accomplishing 166 wins coaching at the high school level; with a proven ability in developing basketball programs into playoff caliber teams with an emphasis and focus in preparing student-athletes for college-level competition. Coach Lacey guided Varina HS team to the VHSL Class 5 State Title during the 2018 season, along with the 2019 5B Regional Title and 2018 5B Regional Title. He was named VHSL Class 5 State Coach of the Year. An article of his titled "Using Ball Screens in your Motion Offense" was published in Winning Hoops Magazine in September 2015. Coach Lacey is also the founder of Andrew Lacey Basketball and the host of his on podcast called "It Takes What It Takes."

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